I suppose I am obliged to say a little of what happened at
my solicitor’s office yesterday.
After seeing the mess one made of John Kerlen’s case (a.k.a. Olly Cromwell) six years ago when a Bexley Councillor accused him of incitement to post dog excrement through his letter box and the police knew full well he had not, I thought I ought to get someone better than that.
The renowned libel lawyer Mark Lewis put me on to an expert and has volunteered to act as witness himself if necessary.
The ‘expert’ has lined up a top barrister who has knowledge of journalism and he seems to be rather more enthusiastic about having his two days in Court than I am.
Details have been taken of Bexley Council’s previous unsuccessful attempts to have me done for harassment and the obscenities that the police traced to Cabinet Member Peter Craske’s laptop and which they later confirmed to be on it - and a second set.
The surveyor who was libelled has also given my solicitor a whole load of documents and the transcript of an audio recording (which is safely locked away elsewhere).
It seems to me that these lawyers are showmen who relish the idea of being able to trash someone’s reputation in Court and ensure, using their contacts, that the press is there in force to listen.
That is not my priority; speaking as someone who has never so much as had a parking ticket I find it unnerving to be exchanging late night Twitter Direct Messages with top notch lawyers who I previously knew only from their radio interviews; some quite recent.
All I wanted my solicitor to do is persuade the CPS that they have no chance of securing a conviction bearing in mind what was going on out of sight while a few documented facts were posted on line. Maybe they will but they seem to be putting more effort into preparing for someone’s ritual humiliation. I suppose they have to assume a worst case scenario.
There was a time when I would have liked to see Cabinet Member Peter Craske in Court for what the police traced back to him, but now? And in this way? Used as background to a case that has nothing to do with him?
But that is the way things seem to be going and all because one Councillor could be satisfied only by total suppression of perfectly valid news items. Unlike the last time she was featured in BiB when I discovered that she may have been the victim of injustice and said so, this time I could find no redeeming features.
I really don’t see how it benefits anyone to allow these ruthless lawyer types to get their teeth into her. And what if it all comes out just before the May election? I can think of some people who might like that.
Oh, I forgot to say, the lawyer doesn’t think I am at all likely to be found guilty of criminal harassment, but what a rigmarole to go through to get there! And how many reputations will lie in tatters?